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Dynamic Taint Analysis for Automatic Detection, Analysis, and Signature Generation of Exploits on Commodity Software Paper by: James Newsome and Dawn Song.

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Presentation on theme: "Dynamic Taint Analysis for Automatic Detection, Analysis, and Signature Generation of Exploits on Commodity Software Paper by: James Newsome and Dawn Song."— Presentation transcript:

1 Dynamic Taint Analysis for Automatic Detection, Analysis, and Signature Generation of Exploits on Commodity Software Paper by: James Newsome and Dawn Song Network and Distributed Systems Security Symposium (NDSS), Feb CS451 Spring 2011 Instructor: Christos Papadopoulos Original slides by Devendra Salvi (2007)

2 Motivation Worms exploit several software vulnerabilities  buffer overflow  “format string” vulnerability Attack detectors ideally should:  Detect new attacks and detect them early  Be easy to deploy  Few false positives and false negatives  Be able to automatically generate filters and sharable fingerprints

3 Motivation (contd.) Attack detectors are:  Coarse grained detectors Detect anomalous behavior but do not provide detailed information about the vulnerability Scan detectors, anomaly detectors  Fine grained detectors are highly desirable Detect attacks on programs vulnerabilities and hence provide detailed information about the attack But some require source code (typically not available for commercial software), recompilation, bounds checking, library recompilation, source code modification, etc.  Other options: content-based filtering (e.g., IDS’ such as snort and Bro), but automatic signature generation is hard

4 TaintCheck: Basic Ideas 1. Program execution normally derived from trusted sources, not attacker input 2. Mark all input data to the computer as “tainted” (e.g., network, stdin, etc.) 3. Monitor program execution and track how tainted data propagates (follow bytes, arithmetic operations, jump addresses, etc.) 4. Detect when tainted data is used in dangerous ways

5 Step 1: Add Taint Checking code TaintCheck first runs the code through an emulation environment (Valgrind) and adds instructions to monitor tainted memory. Binary re-writer Taint Check X86 instructions UCode X86 instructions Dynamic taint analysis

6 TaintCheck Detection Modules TaintSeed: Mark untrusted data as tainted TaintTracker: Track each instruction, determine if result is tainted TaintAssert: Check is tainted data is used dangerously Jump addresses: function pointers or offsets Format strings: is tainted data used as a format string arg? System call arguments Application or library customized checks

7 TaintCheck Operation X Memory byte Shadow Memory Taint Data structure* untainted Use as Fn pointer Attack detected TaintTrackerTaint seedTaintAssert Exploit Analyzer TaintCheck Shadow Memory *TDS holds the system call number, a snapshot of the current stack, and a copy of the data that was written

8 TaintSeed Marks any data from untrusted sources as “tainted”  Each byte of memory has a four-byte shadow memory (ick!) that stores a pointer to a Taint data structure if that location is tainted  Else store a NULL pointer Memory is mapped to TDS

9 TaintTracker Tracks each instruction that manipulates data in order to determine whether the result is tainted.  When the result of an instruction is tainted by one of the operands, TaintTracker sets the shadow memory of the result to point to the same Taint data structure as the tainted operand. Memory is mapped to TDSResult is mapped to TDS

10 TaintAssert  Checks whether tainted data is used in ways that its policy defines as illegitimate Memory is mapped to TDSOperand is mapped to TDS vulnerability

11 Exploit Analyzer  Provides useful information about how the exploit happened, and what the exploit attempts to do  Useful to generate exploit fingerprints Memory is mapped to TDSOperand is mapped to TDS vulnerability

12 Attacks Detected by TaintCheck Overwrite attack  jump targets (such as return addresses, function pointers, and function pointer offsets), whether altered to point to existing code (existing code attack) or injected code (code injection attack) Format string attacks  an attacker provides a malicious format string to trick the program into leaking data or into writing an attacker-chosen value to an attacker-chosen memory address.  E.g., use of %n, %s and %x format tokens

13 When does TaintCheck Fail? A false negative occurs if an attacker can cause sensitive data to take on a value without that data becoming tainted E.g. if (x == 0)y = 0; else if (x == 1) y = 1;... If values are copied from hard-coded literals, rather than arithmetically derived from the input IIS translates ASCII input into Unicode via a table If TaintCheck is configured to trust inputs that should not be trusted data from the network could be first written to a file on disk, and then read back into memory

14 When does TaintCheck give a False Positive? TaintCheck detects that tainted data is being used in an illegitimate way even when there is no attack taking place. Possibilities:  There are vulnerabilities in the program and need to be fixed, or  The program performs sanity checks before using the data

15 Compatibility with Existing Code Does TaintCheck raise false alerts? Networked programs: 158K+ DNS queries  No false +ves All (!!) client and non-network programs (tainted data is stdin):  Only vim and firebird caused false +ves (data from config files used as offset to jump address)

16 Attack Detection: Synthetic + Actual Exploits

17 Performance Evaluation – CPU Bound Process Hardware: 2.00 GHz Pentium 4, 512 MB RAM, RedHat 8.0 Application: bzip2(15mb)  Normal runtime 8.2s  Valgrind nullgrind skin runtime: 25.6s (3.1x)  Memcheck runtime: 109s (13.3x)  TaintCheck runtime: 305s (37.2x)

18 Short-lived Processes Short processes cause TaintCheck to run repeatedly (caching helps, however) Application: Cfingerd Normal runtime: s Valgrind nullgrind:13x Memcheck : 32x TaintCheck:13x

19 Apache: Different Page Sizes A more representative case, network and I/O

20 Applications of TaintCheck Standalone: typically not practical  But maybe if you sample requests.. TaintCheck-enabled honeypots  Monitor network services, verify exploit and provide additional information about the detected attack TaintCheck with OS randomization  OS randomization causes application to crach  Use TaintCheck to identify which request causes the crash and generate signature for the attack or block future TaintCheck in a distributed environment  Share signatures

21 Automatic Signature Generation Automatic semantic analysis based signature generation  Find value used to override return address – typically fixed value in the exploit code  Sometimes as little as 3 bytes! See paper for details

22 Conclusions Interesting approach to combat exploits. Pros:  Does not require source code or specially compiled binaries  Reliably detects most overwrite attacks  Has no known false positives  Automatic signature generation (see paper) Cons: Overhead!  May get a lot better with tuning and better emulators


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